Congressman Russell Comments on the Passage of the FY2016 NDAA
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Steve Russell (OK-5) offered this statement on the passage of the FY 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (270-156):
“I am proud of the work the conference committee has put in to pass the FY 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Specifically, in a bipartisan fashion, we have agreed to authorize $604 billion dollars for the Department of Defense to protect our vital national security interests and provide our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines the tools they need to keep our nation safe. Some additional highlights of what this bill accomplishes:
Reforms the acquisition system to streamline the process. This is vital to providing our troops the tools they need, and doing so in a process that is less wasteful of taxpayer dollars
Expresses continued strong support for the KC-46 Tanker program as a critical enabler of power projection
Cuts excessive or wasteful expenditures, dedicating those resources to more urgent needs
Included in the total budget authorization is also $89 billion for overseas contingency operations, which is vital to protect our national security interests abroad in a turbulent world. I am also glad we agreed that there would be a prohibition of funds used to transfer or release the individuals detained at Guantanamo Bay. These detainees are dangerous, and are held there for a very good reason. It is my hope that military tribunals be reinstated to deal with those who are still held at that facility. Lastly, I want to highlight the measure that authorizes commanders of military installations and other defense facilities to allow troops to carry appropriate firearms for the security reasons. This is an effort that I have worked on through my legislation, H.R. 3227, the Protecting America’s Warriors Act. All of these measures will help with the safety, national security aspects, and readiness of our armed forces in their job to serve our country.
It is unconscionable that the President would continue to offer a veto threat to a bipartisan bill that funds our military. He is playing politics with our Armed Forces, and willfully ignores the hard work that the Democrats put into the agreed upon NDAA measures.”